Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Nuccio's Gem

A bunch of years ago I bought a Nuccio's Gem camillia.  It's considered a perfect formal double, which means lots of petals, which open very slowly.  Most of the blooms deteriorate before they finish opening. It opens slowly, and because of some quirk of nature here, it blooms every year when we have rain.  If it rains in January, the damn plant blooms in January.  If it doesn't rain until March, sure enough, it blooms in March. Rain is the enemy of camillia petals, and overnight I end up with a lot of petals with ugly brown spots. So last year, in the midst of a drought here, with a tiny number of rain days, my Nuccio's Gem chose one of those days to bloom.  This year we had no rain in January.  The buds grew, with bits of white petal preparing to pop out, yes, just as it rained.  It probably won't rain again for a month.

But this year I raced out before the rain and found a bloom almost entirely open.  Yes, a formal double that looked like a formal double. Fully open.  No brown.  A stem long enough to stick in a glass of water.  J photographed it so that we could remember what it looked like, and that one year, we got one bloom that looked the way it should.